Contemporary art is the outlier in well-known artwork, in the sense that it is the only style of artwork that encourages its audience to ignore the meaning behind the piece, but more focus on the upfront canvas itself, and the colors and textures it displays.
Contemporary art is usually split into 5 different types, each with different qualities and purposes:
1. Curvilinear Abstract
This type of abstract art is usually focused on Celtic pieces. This includes well-known knots, spirals, and ribbons. Curvilinear art has been used since the early 1800s, and was not necessarily specific to Celts, artists had been focusing on this style for centuries. However, with the arrival of the Celts, the artwork became much more intricate and detailed, which later re-emerged for decorative uses in the 19th century.
Modern curvilinear artists, such as Erin Larimer, have introduced patterns with a burst of colors, which was not as frequent in the earlier days. Larimer uses a sunset orange and a lagoon blue, to display the crossovers in the knots and spirals.
From the early 1900s, analytical cubism was introduced into art, which created illusions of spatial depth and linear perspective, and focused on 2D aspects. This style of art is also known as concrete art, as it is characterized by imagery that is unnatural and consists of shapes such as cubes and circles. Some may argue that this form of abstract art is the purest form, as it has absolutely no connection with the natural world.
3. Emotional or Intuitional
Emotional and intuitional art is a style of work that has the most naturalistic tendencies. Unlike Geometric art, which seems the most robotic form or abstract work, this style includes lots of nature, but in very unnatural ways. Many may know this style as surrealism. Artists such as Salvador Dali and Mark Rothko are famous for their heavily surreal paintings.
Gestural abstract art is a form of expressionism – where the meaning behind the painting is the purpose of the piece altogether. The brushwork is often loose and rapid, somewhat a hazy view of a landscape, object or situation. Gestural, as it says in the name, portrays one specific gesture. There is rarely any structure to gestural abstract art, with soft brush strokes, it’s hard to make out any specific shape.
An example of a gestural abstract artist is Gheorghe Virtosu, who uses rapid brush strokes to reflect a gesture on a specific topic or attitude. Virtosuspecializes in an array of colors to play on the topic and show both positive and negative attitudes towards it.
Minimalistic abstract art is exactly what you think it is. It’s the ‘back-to-basics’ type of work, stripping all external features and range of colors. This type of art is displayed mostly through a structural form and used widely in interior design. However, paintings also can take on this style of abstract art, staying with very few objects and colors on the canvas.